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E02118: Fragmentary Greek inscription possibly invoking *George (soldier and martyr, S00259). Found at Izra/Zorava to the northwest of Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Probably 6th c.

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posted on 14.12.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
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Γεώργιε [- - -]
AC

'+ Oh, George [- - -]!'

Text: IGLS 15/1, no. 219.

History

Evidence ID

E02118

Saint Name

George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Saint Name in Source

Γεώργιος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Inscriptions - Graffiti

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Izra/Zorava Bosra

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Izra/Zorava Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

The nature of this inscription, apparently only fragmentarily preserved, is not clear. Waddington, who saw it in the late 1860s, says that he found it 'in a wall', but does not specify if it was a graffito or a text carved on a stone block. Maurice Sartre did not find this inscription during his survey of Zorava, and his edition is based on Waddington's copy.

Discussion

The inscription was possibly an invocation of the help of Saint George who was venerated in the village since at least 515 (see: E01754). The two letters visible in line 2 of Waddington's copy were omitted in the original edition offered by Waddington and in the edition by Sartre. Dating: if the inscription really refers to Saint George, it is likely to date to the 6th c. when his cult became especially popular in the region.

Bibliography

Edition: Sartre-Fauriat, A., Sartre, M., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 15/1: Le plateau du Trachôn et ses bordures (BAH 204, Beyrouth: Institut Français du Proche-Orient, 2014), no. 219. Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 2504.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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